SCI offers free “Lunch & Learn” presentations to architect and engineering firms, private companies, and public sector agencies.
On average, SCI professionals provide more than 70 training sessions per year. The concept is simple – you pick a presentation of your choice and the appropriate SCI subject matter expert will provide lunch or breakfast and spend 30 to 45 minutes sharing their knowledge, expertise and experiences. You may also request a presentation customized to address your specific needs. The most effective sessions are those that are specifically requested by you, our clients.
SCI also frequently offers presentations throughout the year from one of our offices in Missouri and Illinois.
The Lunch and Learn program is designed to educate participants and provide a comprehensive understanding of the various activities involved with each of our services. The training is designed to qualify for 1.0 Professional Development Hour for Professional Engineers under Missouri statues and 1.0 Learning Unit Hour through the American Institute of Architects.
The following list, while not exhaustive, is a typical list of our more popular presentations. Please let us know if we can schedule a session for you and your staff.
Due Diligence for Site Development
Various activities are often performed as part of the due diligence process for site development. These activities include performing a subsurface investigation for geotechnical considerations, a wetlands/waters of the United States survey for potential United States Army Corp of Engineers permitting, a Cultural Resource Survey to identify whether a site history or pre-history will be impaired, as well as Environmental Site Assessment for potential petroleum and hazardous substances.
Any or all of these considerations are useful in identifying/limiting any unexpected costs that could be incurred for new construction or redevelopment.
Construction Inspection for Transportation Projects
Today’s funding environment means at least a percentage of your transportation dollars are probably coming from the Federal Government. With these dollars comes a significant burden on Local Public Agencies to follow a prescribed process from design through construction. During construction, tests, inspections, and documentation which you may have never given a thought to before, may now be mandatory.
Proper planning and execution of quality control tests and inspections will help keep the construction running smoothly and keep headaches for you and your staff, as well as the MoDOT personnel, to a minimum. Ultimately, proper quality control and documentation will mean you’re not jeopardizing your federal reimbursement.
The Importance of Special Inspections
Special inspections are inspections and tests of building components critical to a building’s structural integrity. The demand for special inspections is increasing due to higher design capacities and the city’s desire to increase quality control. Special inspections can help identify defects and deficient work resulting in fewer problems and a dramatic improvement in the quality of construction. The special inspection process is in addition to those inspections conducted by the municipal building inspector and the engineer or architect.
SCI’s Special Inspection group works closely with clients to inspect and test the materials used in construction to minimize risks and liabilities. This Lunch & Learn will cover the importance of special inspections and how it pertains to your projects. Required inspections for Concrete, Masonry, Structural Steel and Fireproofing as defined in Chapter 17 of the IBC will be discussed in detail.
Stormwater Regulations and Compliance
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) require permits for construction sites disturbing more than one acre. You may have heard one of many names used in the industry for these permits including: stormwater permit, land disturbance permit, NPDES permit, erosion and sediment control permit, MSOP, ILR10, and the list goes on. However, both the IEPA and MDNR require that site-specific stormwater pollution prevention plans (SWPPPs) be developed for sites covered under these general permits.
Additionally, special requirements exist which require inspectors knowledgeable in the installation and maintenance of stormwater best management practices (BMPs). SCI regularly assists developers and contractors with the development and implementation of SWPPPs on a variety of projects from urban roadways to rural developments. Additionally, SCI is available to conduct the required weekly/storm event site inspections required by the permit. SCI is also happy to offer stormwater compliance seminars to clients who wish to provide their personnel with additional training.
Cultural Resource Survey Requirements
The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 requires that all projects that utilize federal monies, or require a permit from a federal agency, will be subject to a cultural resource review. In addition, some states also have regulations that have the same requirement for projects utilizing state funds or requiring a permit from a state agency. This review process is often referred to as “Section 106”.
The process is a linear progression of stages beginning with whether or not a CRS is required, and ending with the mitigation of any adverse effects to the cultural resources present in the project area. It is important to note, however, that compliance with Section 106 can be met at any point in the process. It is all dependent on what cultural resources are present and their significance.
Water Resources and Permitting
As part of the due diligence services prior to site development, a survey to identify wetlands and waters of the United States is conducted to identify the need for potential United States Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 permitting. Impacts to wetlands and waterbodies may be able to be minimized through modification of development plans, eliminating unnecessary permitting effort and expenses.
In cases where wetlands and waterbodies cannot be avoided, SCI can provide a liaison between clients and regulatory agencies to make the permitting process as efficient as possible to allow the project to proceed as planned. A thorough understanding of the permitting process is essential to identify and/or limit any unexpected costs or delays that could be incurred for new construction or redevelopment.
Creating a mitigation bank through the effective application of hydrologic principles and efficient design and construction techniques can be a profitable endeavor. SCI has extensive experience in both the creation and use of mitigation banks, including the Fox Creek stream mitigation bank, the first bank of its kind in the United States. By performing feasibility studies, SCI can help to assess the potential for mitigation bank development on a prospective property.
A mitigation bank provides an opportunity for a one-time, no-maintenance mitigation option for entities such as developers, municipalities, or the Department of Transportation who need to meet United States Army Corps of Engineers permitting requirements. We have noticed a trend towards the use of mitigation banks, as the current regulatory climate requires more extensive time and resources to provide individual impact mitigation. This trend has greatly increased the potential for future mitigation bank development.
Foreclosed Developments -What You Need to Know
Foreclosed developments most often have been partially or recently completed. At this stage of development, a property may have environmental compliance permitting issues that need to be addressed. Impacts to wetlands and waters of the United States may have occurred requiring United States Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 permitting and possible mitigation and monitoring. For sites still undergoing active construction when foreclosure occurred, permits and regular monitoring requirements from the Environmental Protection Agency relating to stormwater may be required.
SCI has the ability to research existing permits and to coordinate with the necessary regulatory agencies to identify and/or limit any unexpected costs that may be associated with water resources on foreclosed developments. SCI also has the ability to assess the slope stability within a development to assist in assessing the general buildable condition of the property.
Mold in Construction
Mold in Construction
Mold is a naturally occurring life form that is present everywhere. Outdoor air that appears clean and fresh can commonly contain hundreds to tens of thousands of mold spores per cubic meter. The problems begin when mold amplification or advanced mold growth causes unnatural levels of mold spores and mold by-products in our environment. When this occurs, health problems can follow.
Construction industry professionals including architects, property managers, home builders, construction supervisors and customer service representatives for builders will learn about commonly encountered mold problems in new construction, and the causes of mold as well as its prevention and abatement. Staff members of SCI’s mold team have completed mold training and education and have experience performing investigations on numerous types of structures.
Slope Stability in Residential/Commercial Construction
Slope stability issues are common in the St. Louis area as well as other areas of the country. Most slope stability issues stem from three main factors: geologic conditions, water, or a change in grades of the slope. In the St. Louis area, the presence of shale has caused many slope movements and failures which could have been avoided with the proper remedial measures during design and construction. Shale is a layered sedimentary rock common in our area. When the shale layers become saturated, they slide on each other causing movement of the slope.
In many instances, the shale is present, but does not become an issue until regarding of the slope exposes it or changes in grade causing additional water to penetrate the shale. Even when shale is not present, an increase in the amount of water penetrating a slope can have detrimental effects, as can additional loading at the head of the slope or removal of material near the toe of the slope.
Environmental Concerns for Lenders/Site Development
Phase One Environmental Site Assessments are often required to be performed prior to loaning money on a property, but what exactly does that entail? This lunch and learn takes the lender/developer through the Phase One process and explains the types of things that SCI considers to be “red flags” on a property.
The so-called “red flags” are items that represent the potential for the presence of petroleum, toxic or hazardous substances, and other concerns that can make development especially difficult and costly. Additionally, key non-scope items are discussed which include asbestos, lead-based paint and mold, all, or a portion of which, are part of various lenders/retailers due diligence process.
The presentation will focus on an introduction to the Geotechnical report, with an in-depth review on the factors that influence the International Building Code Site Class and Seismic Design Criteria determinations.
The discussion will include the benefits of performing a Site Specific Seismic Hazard Analysis in order to reduce the Seismic Design Criteria and the seismic loading.
Translating the Geotechnical Report
Translating the Geotechnical Report into Design & Construction
Understanding the geology of the site plays an important role in developing the correct geotechnical investigation and the risks associated with each site. This geologic information and our understanding of the proposed project is used to develop a scope of services for the project which will provide an understanding of the subsurface conditions and the potential risks a developer or owner may encounter on this site.
Once the report is complete, there are a few keys to understanding the report and quickly being able to identify the design recommendations and potential “red flags” associated with the project.
Threatened and Endangered Species Issues
Threatened and Endangered Species Issues
Recent changes in the listing status of Northern long-eared bats and Indiana bats as threatened and endangered under the Endangered Species Act have increased the incidence of tree clearing restrictions and the need for additional field surveys. The emphasis put on regulatory agencies around the St. Louis region to preserve forested areas that host maternity roost colonies may impact tree clearing associated with site development. The Natural Resource Services Group at SCI Engineering provides bat habitat assessments and presence/absence surveys for private development or construction projects, as well as public sector entities.
The group is led by an experienced bat biologist working under a Federal Fish and Wildlife Permit.With our close contact and strong relationships with Federal and State regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Missouri Department of Conservation, and Illinois Department of Natural Resources, SCI is able to navigate complex regulations and inform our clients on potential issues before time and money is spent on a project.